Canal House Affordable Housing Project

We are in the first of a three-year capital campaign to raise funds for the Canal Street Affordable Housing Project. It is an important step toward providing safe, affordable housing for a growing market of people who need their housing expense, including utilities, to not exceed 30% of their monthly income. It is consistent with our mission (“in participation with others, to provide housing, related facilities, and support services, so that each person whose life we touch may realize fully his or her potential for physical, social, and spiritual wellbeing.”). I am pleased at the level of support we are getting from a generous and compassionate group of businesses and individuals in the Lebanon Valley.

When completed the project will yield 23 one and two-bedroom units on a designated plot of land on Canal Street in Lebanon. All units will be handicapped accessible, which gives us maximum flexibility in reviewing prospective residents. When we meet or communicate with potential supporters, and cover the project cost with them, the most common question we get is one related to the cost of construction of the units.

We then explain that we are guided by, according to Investopedia.com, “Value Engineering, a systematic, organized approach to providing necessary functions in a project at the lowest cost. Value Engineering promotes the substitution of materials and methods with less expensive alternatives, without sacrificing functionality. It is focused solely on the functions of various components and materials, rather than their physical attributes. Value Engineering is also called value analysis,”

By following these guidelines, we are keeping our promise to investors in this project. We are committed to build this needed housing in as cost-efficient way that we can. It is not only a way we conduct business, but a reason our supporters, in addition to believing in the cause, appreciate the strategy we use to make it happen.

One example – The plot of land at Canal Street is uneven for building, particularly in relation to storm water management, which can be costly. We challenged Steckbeck Engineering to design a plan which accomplished the goal in a cost-efficient manner. I guess we can call Value Engineering “foundational”. This approach to construction enhances the way we look at this entire project.

That said, we are committed to provide cost-efficient, compassionate housing solutions to the people we serve. And we thank our supporters for their participation.